• Title of project: Gravitational Reference Sensors for Earth geodesy missions
  • Funding agency (Optional): NASA
  • Description: A Gravitational Reference Sensor, a precision space accelerometer is being developed by the Precision Space Systems Lab as part of an observing system that maps Earth’s gravitational field in exquisite detail. The accelerometer is used to precisely determine the atmospheric drag acting on the spacecraft that corrupts the gravity filed measurements. This technology improves upon the state of the art by 100x and could be used in future NASA Earth Science missions to track mass transport over the surface of the Earth due to changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea levels. This project is a collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ball Aerospace and may be used in NASA next Earth geodesy mission beyond GRACE-FO (see:
  • Restrictions/Constraints: Export control restrictions apply
  • Knowledge and skills needed: Enthusiasm for learning about space systems and space technology, including inertial sensors, spacecraft dynamics and control, mechanical/thermal design, electronics and software, lasers and optics, and space flight operations.
  • How to apply: email
  • Faculty contact/webpage: